Louis Podbielski Case Law Reports

DELAYS IN STRIKING ATTORNEY FROM ROLL

Legal Practice Council v Van Wyk [2021] ZAWCHC 223

Eight years ago, the then Law Society of the Cape of Good Hope launched the application as a matter of urgency, seeking to interdict Mr Van Wyk from practising as an attorney, pending an application to strike him from the roll of attorneys. It was not brought before the court until this year.

Sher J discusses the failure to respond to communications from clients and the Law Society and failure to account to them; the other transgressions; the law applicable to striking off; and the conduct of the regulatory bodies. See in particular paras [69]-[71].

Mr Van Wyk’s name is struck from the roll of attorneys. (Bozalek J concurred.) See regarding the costs [75] and the order at [79.3]

A copy of the judgment and this order is to be furnished to the Chairperson of the LPC for her report-back as to the causes and deficiencies responsible for the matter having taken 8 years to come before the Court and what steps will be taken to ensure that effective measures are put in place to ensure that the LPC gives effect to its statutory obligations in terms of regulating the profession, maintaining standards of professional practice and ethical conduct and protecting the public, by ensuring that complaints against legal practitioners are dealt with expeditiously.       

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EMAILS SENT IN CONTEMPT OF COURT

JR v AL [2021] ZAGPJHC 590

During an acrimonious dispute an order was granted ex parte interdicting the respondent from making contact with the applicant in writing or on social media, from threatening or harassing the applicant and from seeking to harm the applicant’s reputation. The respondent then dispatched many emails to the applicant’s former attorney of record, Ms B.

Opperman J discusses the elements of contempt of court; the order and knowledge of the order; that the emails contained direct threats directed at the applicant and that Ms B was obliged to transmit the communications to her client; and that there can be no reasonable doubt that the respondent intentionally seeks to undermine and harm the reputation and dignity of the applicant, an attorney, who has spent over 40 years building his professional reputation, one he contends is of excellence and unimpeachable integrity.

The respondent is found guilty of contempt and a warrant authorised for committing the respondent to imprisonment for 30 days, suspended for one year; and respondent is fined R70,000 payable to the registrar within 10 days of service of the order.

“Ms B …. Your client is a sad piece of shit …. Now sue me ….”

“Ms B…. I received your next attempt …. Pathetic, boring and madness to say the least … Your client tries desperately to make himself out to be the victim and present himself as the most honest person, but now let me share something with you, [the applicant] has not had a passing relationship with honesty in his entire life …”

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LAST OVER IN CRICKET MATCH LEADS TO DELICT

Ketcher v Jordaan [2021] ZAGPPHC 693

Mr Ketcher claims delictual damages from Mr Jordaan for injuries sustained from an alleged assault at Sun City. Mr Jordaan had been trying to watch an important cricket match on the TV in the lounge area, but Mr Ketcher obstructed his view, despite repeated requests to Mr Ketcher to move, and despite Mr Jordaan changing seats. 

Mogotsi AJ discusses the differing versions of the events; the submissions by counsel for the plaintiff and defendant; the case law; and that Mr Jordaan was tasked to draft an addendum to the Club’s Constitution specifically to cater for violent events.

The Defendant is liable for 100 percent of the Plaintiff’s proven damages.

Shortly before the incident, AB de Villiers was batting the last over with a couple of balls left in the over. This was a crucial moment of the game. Probabilities are that he wanted to see that last over and the Plaintiff was obscuring his view. In my view, it is probable that he quickly approached the Plaintiff and violently pushed him in order for him not to miss that last crucial over.

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ABOUT THE EDITOR

Louis Podbielski spent ten years at Juta working on various law reports and has read many thousands of judgments for case selection. He has considerable experience in writing flynotes and headnotes, compiling case annotations, and in refining subject indexes.​ During his four years at LexisNexis he was involved with legal data, analytics and in developing various legal tech solutions. He now runs his own case law service Louis Case Law

You can read his full CV and more about Louis on his LinkedIn profile where he shares interesting and recent cases.

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